10 Noteworthy Products On View At Cisco Live

In the Cisco Mix

Though not as channel-centric as Cisco Partner Summit, Cisco Live is the networking king's largest event of the year, and it kicks off this week in the same place Partner Summit 2012 did two months earlier: San Diego. As a user-focused conference with thousands of customers -- and more than a few Cisco VARs -- in attendance, Cisco's usually got a few neat surprises -- this was, after all, the conference where it launched the ill-fated Cius tablet to such promising reviews in 2010, and in 2011, refreshed its most popular single Catalyst switch.

Cisco has some interesting stuff on tap for this year (hint: it's cloudy), but we thought it prudent to highlight some of the other Cisco ecosystem product releases and exhibitions happening this week from partner vendors. Have a look.


Gigamon had several recent products on hand, including the new GigaVue-VM fabric node -- the latest in a series of Gigamon offerings intended to enable virtual environment monitoring in much the same way physical data centers are monitored. GigaVue-VM extends what Gigamon already offers through its Traffic Visibility Fabric by spanning virtual/physical boundaries and directing virtual machine traffic to be identified and then analyzed using physical network management or security tools. It's implemented as a native VMware virtual machine, and Gigamon positions i as a way to provide complete, granular visibility into traffic that traverses the hypervisor.


Opengear, which focuses on console server and remote infrastructure management, announced at Cisco Live that it now offers support for direct connections to USB console ports on Cisco devices. What that means is that that network administrators can control Cisco devices by sending IOS software commands through USB console ports remotely, using any browser, via an Opengear device, thus making remote management an easy thing to turn on. Opengear also confirmed support for the open management software application RANCID (Really Awesome New Cisco confIG Differ), as well as several WAN security capabilities such as secure configuration reset for Opengear devices.


Hoping to capture more of the enterprise spend on maintenance and power -- and help customers save some money with more efficient solutions -- several vendors have hitched their wagons to Cisco EnergyWise, the Cisco offering that enables organizations to monitor and control the power consumption of their devices.

At Cisco Live, data center specialist Raritan confirmed that its PX intelligent power distribution units are now EnergyWise-certified, meaning that Raritan's networked units can provide detailed energy information to the EnergyWise platform such as up-to-the-minute readings on volt, watt, amp and kilowatt-hour consumption, as well as temperature, humidity, static pressure and airflow in server racks. Raritan claims +/- 1% accuracy, and the Raritan units work as endpoints on an EnergyWise-equipped network. They also work with Cisco UCS and Nexus products, Raritan said.


IT management specialist ManageEngine dangled a carrot for Cisco Live attendees, announcing that they would be the first to get a look at the newest version of its OpManager network monitoring software. OpManager 9.2 offers agent-based log file monitoring, IP Address Manager plug-in, tab customization, faster discovery times, a discovery rule engine and other features. ManageEngine positions the software as a less-expensive alternative to the likes of HP OpenView and CA Unicenter, and version 9.2 pumps up the product that much more to offer discovery of more than 5,000 interfaces per minute and the ability to support more than 5,000 new devices under OpManager in less than a day.


Paessler is now releasing its PRTG Network Monitor software in a "continous rollout" model, meaning customers receive updates as they become available versus waiting for a major release. PRTG Version 12, on display at Cisco Live, includes new sensor types for Cisco's Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA), and can also monitor VMware host's health status, various Sharepoint processes, IIS web services and VPN connections, and XEN host servers, as well as other capabilities.


VCE, the joint venture of Cisco and EMC with buy in from VMware and Intel, doesn't appear to have a channel-centric launch planned to counter what Cisco has rolled out with NetApp around the FlexPod architecture. But in line with Cisco Live, VCE is rolling out new features for the VCE Vblock FastPath Desktop Viritualization Platform, which automates VDI deployments and is intended to simplify management of VMware View in use with Vblock infrastructure. Specifically, VCE is offering full support for VMware View 5, and additional support for Vblock Series 300 Systems, a single system of which can now support up to 5,000 virtual desktops.


Perennial Cisco pal TerraWave is bringing new wireless enclosure and antenna products to Cisco Live that are designed to work with Cisco's latest access points, including its 1142, 3502 and 3602 APs.

TerraWave is touting polypropylene bubble enclosures to protect APs from damage and theft -- enclosures that withstand direct impact, according to TerraWave, and also allow for easy mounting. A new antennas, intended for Cisco's 3602e AP, is a 2.4/5 Ghz dBi outdoor MiMO quad omnidirectional antenna -- effectively a redesign of TerraWave's existing "6 pack" outdoor MiMO for the Cisco 1252 AP. TerraWave, which is a division of TESSCO Technologies, has been a technology partner and solution developer in Cisco's Developer Network for several years.

Persistent Systems

Software developer Persistent Systems had a few releases in store for Cisco Live, including a new iPad application for Cisco's Quad platform. It had also planned on live demos for its integrated Cisco WebEx software and other tools according to a statement from the company.


Another simpatico vendor for Cisco's EnergyWise offering, JouleX is now offering JouleX for EnergyWise on Cisco's global price list as a free add-on to Cisco Catalyst 3000 and 4000 series switches. It's a version of JouleX's existing Energy Manager that provides full monitoring and analysis of energy consumption using Cisco EnergyWise. JouleX customers can use the tool to monitor unlimited campus devices for free, with no time or scale restrictions, the vendor says. JouleX is a member of Cisco's Developer Network specific to the EnergyWise category.


To Cisco Live, NetScout brought its recently released nGenius Forensic Intelligence tool, part of the forensic analysis capabilities it already offers through the nGenius Service Assurance Solution as an alternative to perimeter security products. nGenius Forensic Intellgience is notable in that it's the first product released by NetScout since it bought Fox Replay BV in October 2011 -- one of several acquisitions NetScout made last year. The Forensic Intelligence uses the monitoring capabilities within NetScout's nGenius InfiniStream appliance, which can do continuous packet capture of 1 GbE and 10 GbE links and offer secure storage between 1 and 96 terabytes at single network monitoring points.

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